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existential father christmas

We Wish You An Existential Christmas

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Father Christmas doesn't exist and, whilst we're on the subject, neither does your website. But, just like Father Christmas becomes very real with a little magic at Christmas, all it takes for your website to become very real indeed is a little bit of powerful magic from Google.

The Web's best-kept secret

That's right, Father Christmas doesn't exist and neither does your website. This may be a shock to you but I think you're old enough to now know the whole truth.

Father Christmas is a character invented by grown-ups to preserve the magic of Christmas for as long as possible in the minds of children. Father Christmas doesn't exist yet, in the minds of children, he is immortal. But you know this anyway, right? The point of me reminding you that, for children, Father Christmas exists is to illustrate that what you've come to believe might not always be true - especially when it comes to websites and Google.

Your website doesn't exist!

It's true. Your website doesn't actually exist. Just as it's only children who make Father Christmas real so too it's only Google that makes your website real. Allow me to explain.

A long time ago, when the worldwide web was still very young, websites were made from individually written webpages, hand-crafted from the finest HTML in the land. Today, however, web developers and 'content management systems' (CMS) don't write HTML webpages. As its name suggests, a CMS simply manages web content by storing website content within databases, locked away on webservers, far behind the website itself.

You see, the HTML website pages that your web browser displays and permits you to click are dynamic - these pages of HTML web content are produced on-the-fly, on-demand and do not exist as standalone digital files.

This is the true reality of the web

When you make request for a webpage, you pass a URL (web address) to the webserver and it understands which webpage you want. A script executes on the webserver that begins to assemble all of the HTML elements which the webpage needs; this script then populates the webpage with content (words and images) retrieved from a database and from upload directories. The end result is a freshly-made webpage of HTML that your web browser pieces-together and presents for you to look at and to click.

Regardless of whether you're looking at a page on Facebook or the BBC's website, this process happens each and every time you make a request for a new webpage. Once you're done reading that webpage and click onto a new page then the HTML will exist for as long as your browser chooses to store the webpage in its cache. But, essentially, that HTML webpage becomes out-of-date the very second you've stopped using it.

Your website does not exist

There is no such thing as Father Christmas and there is no such thing as your website - neither exist. Father Christmas only truly exists in the minds of children and your website only truly exists in the memory of Google. It's Google's memory that is the powerful magic able to make your website real, bring it to life and bring it presents in the form of more new business.

She's making a list, she's checking it twice...

Google routinely visits (crawls) the addresses of your webpages; the list of the addresses she remembers is called Google's index. And, if you've been a good boy or girl, Google will remember your well-built and thoughtful webpage and reward you with a place in her index. Google crawls websites an awful lot; the more she crawls your website the more she'll like what you have on offer. Google's index is a live picture of what really matters on the Web right now - a picture of Christmas present and not Christmas past.

Have yourself a merry-little existential Christmas

For all the Customers who've been good boys and girls this year, we've been able to secure places at the very top of Google's index. If you've ever found yourself looking at your website and singing Wizard's song I wish it could be Christmas everyday then now is the time to believe in Mother Christmas. Close your eyes just believe that it is possible; make each and every day Christmas Day for your website next year.

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